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Press Release | 2009-023

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Press Release # 023
Thursday, July 2, 2009


Intervention Program Helps Moves Teens Away from Crime, Build Relationships between Police, Juveniles and Families

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced the expansion of the NYPD’s Juvenile Robbery Intervention Program (JRIP) into Manhattan’s Police Housing Area 5 in East Harlem. JRIP is a program in which police work closely with juvenile offenders who have previously been arrested for robbery to make sure they avoid straying further down a criminal path.  The program started in 2007 in Brownsville, Brooklyn to address a rise in robberies in public housing in the 73rd Precinct.

“JRIP officers deliver two clear and critical messages to both juveniles and their families; continued unlawful behavior has serious potential ramifications, and there are a number of resources, including educational and employment opportunities, available to the youth,” said Commissioner Kelly adding that, “To deliver this message the program thrives on family participation and includes home visits and coordination efforts with agencies including schools, social services and job trainers.”

The program also relies on the efforts of District Attorneys, probation officers, truant officers and family court to ensure that youth arrested again are subject to strict punishment and a response from a JRIP task force officer.

“This type of grassroots policing is essential to reducing and ultimately preventing juvenile crime,” said Police Commissioner Kelly added. “We have already seen success from JRIP and we expect that will have similar results working with young people and their families in East Harlem.”

The JRIP program was started after police analyzed a spike in robberies and learned that many of the incidents were youth preying on other youth city-wide, many of them repeat offenders. It concentrates efforts on identifying juvenile offenders where they live and structuring a program around home visits and parental involvement to break the cycle and reduce the recidivism rate of these young people.

In Brooklyn, the initiative has yielded impressive results. Prior to entering the JRIP program, the youth invited into the program had been arrested for a total of 180 robberies.  One year later, of the same group, police recorded only 29 robbery arrests.   The program expanded to public housing in the Rockaways in 2008 and starts in East Harlem tomorrow, Wednesday, July 1st.   

New York City Police Department Housing Bureau Chief Joanne Jaffe, said, “JRIP is about making a positive difference and changing the lives for at-risk kids by providing job and educational opportunities, and social services.  We give them two choices, they can continue their criminal activity and deal with swift and harsh punishment, or they can turn their lives around and steer clear of a criminal lifestyle.  The choice is theirs.”  

Major crime in New York City Public Housing is down over 18% year to date.

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